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The Benefits of Costly Voting

  • Chakravarty, Surajeet
  • Kaplan, Todd R
  • Myles, Gareth

We present a costly voting model in which each voter has a private valuation for their preferred outcome of a vote. When there is a zero cost to voting, all voters vote and hence all values are counted equally regardless of how high they may be. By having a cost to voting, only those with high enough values would choose to incur this cost. Hence, the outcome will be determined by voters with higher valuations. We show that in such a case welfare may be enhanced. Such an effect occurs when there is both a large enough density of voters with low values and a high enough expected value.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 21372.

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Date of creation: 13 Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21372
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  1. Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, 2005. "Log-concave probability and its applications," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 445-469, 08.
  2. Bulkley, G. & Myles, G.D. & Pearson, B.R., 2000. "On the Membership of Decision-Making Committees," Discussion Papers 0009, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  3. Sayantan Ghosal & Ben Lockwood, 2009. "Costly voting when both information and preferences differ: is turnout too high or too low?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 25-50, June.
  4. Jeffrey S. Rosenthal & Martin J. Osborne & Matthew A. Turner, 2000. "Meetings with Costly Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 927-943, September.
  5. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191, 01.
  6. Amrita Dhillon & Susana Peralta, 2002. "Economic Theories Of Voter Turnout," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F332-F352, June.
  7. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2009. "Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 275-291, May.
  8. Amy King & Andrew Leigh, 2009. "Are Ballot Order Effects Heterogeneous?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(1), pages 71-87.
  9. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-49, September.
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